This Standing Rib Roast recipe makes a beautiful centerpiece to any holiday meal! Almost more important than the garlic and herb paste that gets rubbed all over the meat is reading through the recipe in its entirety upfront, because there’s a lot of down time in this recipe. We recommend seasoning the rib roast the night before, then allowing to sit uncovered in a fridge overnight.
Additionally, you’ll want to make sure you take the beef out of the refrigerator a couple hours before you plan to cook it. Allowing the meat to get to room temperature is a crucial step in ensuring the standing rib roast is cooked to your desired doneness (for us that’s a perfectly rosy medium-rare!).
Be sure to read through all our tips and tricks so you can enjoy a perfect prime rib at home, whether it’s for Christmas dinner or a Sunday roast with the family. You’ll love this with our red wine au jus (it’s a simple reduction of the already delicious beef pan drippings).
*This post was sponsored by Balducci’s. All opinions are my own. I only support and promote brands that I believe in and use in my own kitchen – I hope you’ll check them out! Thank you for supporting the brands that make Well Seasoned possible.
What Is Prime Rib?
A standing rib roast — also known as a prime rib roast — is a thing of beauty! It’s a cut of beef from the center of the rib section that is known for its marbling and high fat content. When cooked properly, it becomes melt-in-your-mouth tender.
The meat on a prime rib comes from the same area on the cow that NY Strips, ribeyes, and Delmonicos are cut from. Thoughts of these steaks bring one thing to mind: tender and juicy. A prime rib is no exception!
Ingredients For A Standing Rib Roast
There are just 7 ingredients for our standing rib roast recipe! You’ll of course want to start off with a high quality piece of beef. Look for USDA Prime Standing Rib Roast. Most of the time, butchers will have already trimmed and tied the bone-in prime rib (see above). Occasionally this will include the bones being Frenched (cleaned of all meat).
In addition to the rib roast, you’ll need the following ingredients to create the garlic herb paste:
- Fresh garlic, about 4 cloves finely chopped
- Fresh rosemary and thyme: 2 tablespoons of each
- Kosher salt and black pepper: To season the meat and bring out its natural flavors, as well as to tenderize the beef.
- Olive oil: We’re using a high quality extra virgin olive oil because we love the nutty taste, but you can use any oil you like — avocado oil, canola oil, grapeseed, etc.
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How To Cook A Standing Rib Roast
Cooking a prime rib roast at home is exceptionally easy. We’ll break it down into the below easy steps, but there’s much more detail provided in the recipe card.
- Pat dry with paper towels. Removing excess moisture will help to ensure the beef develops a golden brown crust.
- Season with herbs and garlic. Finely chop garlic and fresh herbs, then mix with Kosher salt, pepper, and a little bit of oil. Whisk well, then rub the mixture all over the beef.
- Rest uncovered in a fridge overnight. Seasoning beef ahead of time is an important step in tenderizing the rib roast, and one that you shouldn’t skip!
- Roast at a high temperature! Place the seasoned beef rib roast in a roasting pan or large skillet fat side up. This will cook for 20 minutes at high heat (475F) to help form the crust.
- DO NOT OPEN THE OVEN! Lower the temperature to 325F, then continue cooking. This low and slow process of cooking — about 15 minutes per pound of meat, depending on the size of the roast — will ensure the exterior doesn’t overcook while you wait for the center to come up to temp.
- Rest for at least 30 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board, then cover loosely with foil. Let the meat rest and the juices redistribute throughout so it stays nice and juicy.
- Make the au jus! This is optional, you could of course just spoon the pan drippings over the meat, but it’s really delicious. Reduce the drippings with about 1 cup of red wine (you were already going to open that bottle to serve alongside the meat anyway…), then remove from the heat. Swirl in a couple pats of butter to make a smooth, luxurious red wine au jus for the prime rib. So good!
- Slice and serve! Place the rib roast on its side, then use a sharp knife to cut the bones away from the meat. Don’t discard, there’s lots of good meat on there! It just makes it easier to cut. Turn the rib roast right side up again, then cut into ¾” thick slices. Serve with a spoonful of au jus and a sprinkle of flaky sea salt!
You can store any leftover prime rib in an airtight container in a fridge for 3-5 days. Reheat in a microwave until warm, but check often so you don’t overcook the meat!
Yes! Cut the roast into slices — we recommend about ¾” thick — then freeze in airtight, freezer-safe containers. Cooked prime rib will keep in a freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw completely before reheating.
It’s recommended that bone-in standing rib roasts cook for about 15 minutes per pound, however, this time is also dependent on the temperature of your oven. We recommend a quick 20 minute cook at high temperature (475F), followed by a more low and slow process for the remaining time in the oven. For a 6½ lb bone-in rib roast, this took an additional 1hr 15 minutes after the initial 20 minutes at high heat. Adjust accordingly based on the size of the roast.
Follow the same high heat searing method at 475F, but reduce that time from 20 minutes down to 15 minutes. Next, lower the remaining cook time to 13-14 minutes per lb (instead of 15). Remember to check for doneness with a meat thermometer for best results. See chart below for temperature guidelines!
A general rule of thumb is 1 lb per person, but keep in mind that a 6 lb bone-in rib roast, for instance, contains 3 rib bones. So you’re not actually expecting each person to eat a full pound of beef… that would be a lot! Once you lose the bones, it’s closer to ½ – ¾ lb per person.
- Allow the rib roast to sit at room temperature for at least 2 hours before cooking! This is a really important step to ensure even cooking from the center of the beef rib roast, all the way to the edges.
- Don’t open the oven until you check for doneness! When the rib roast goes into the oven, it gets cooked at a high heat first in a screaming hot oven. This helps to brown the crust and give it a crispy exterior. Once that’s achieved, drop the temperature to 325F, but do not open the oven. You’ll allow all that hot air to escape, and you want the shift in temperature to happen slowly.
- Let the beef rest at least 30 minutes. Another crucial step that cannot be skipped! Allowing meat to rest will give the juices a chance to redistribute throughout the roast. Trust me, you want this as tender and juicy as possible!
- Cut into slices about ¾” thick. Don’t forget to serve with a pinch of flaky sea salt and that glorious au jus wine sauce!
- Slice meat against the grain, not with it! If you want the prime rib slices to be tender and melt-in-your-mouth, make sure to cut against the natural grains of the meat.
Prime Rib Temperature Guidelines
- Rare prime rib: 115-125F — bright red center through to the edges
- Medium-rare prime rib: 125-134F — bright red center leading to rosy pink edges
- Medium prime rib: 135-144F — light pink and warm throughout
- Medium-well prime rib: 145-154F — very slightly pink center
- Well done prime rib: 155-164F — little to no pink
This is a true masterpiece for any holiday meal! If you make this Standing Rib Roast recipe, please let us know by leaving a review and rating below!
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Standing Rib Roast Recipe
For the Standing Rib Roast
- 1 6-7 lb bone-in standing rib roast
- 4 cloves garlic finely chopped
- 2 Tbsp fresh rosemary finely chopped
- 2 Tbsp fresh thyme finely chopped, plus more for serving
- 1 Tbsp Kosher salt
- 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 4 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- Flaky sea salt optional, for serving
For the Au Jus (optional)
- 1 cup red wine
- 3 Tbsp unsalted butter
- Season the rib roast the night before. Pat the rib roast dry with paper towels, then place on a rimmed baking sheet or large plate. Next, make the garlic and herb paste. In a small bowl, combine 4 cloves chopped garlic, 2 Tbsp chopped fresh rosemary, 2 Tbsp chopped fresh thyme, 1 Tbsp Kosher salt, and 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper. Whisk in 4 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil, mixing well, until a pourable paste forms. Pour this on top of the rib roast, then use your hands or a brush to ensure it covers the entire surface evenly. Place in a refrigerator uncovered overnight.
- Allow the meat to slowly come to room temperature. About 2 hours before cooking, bring the standing rib roast out of the refrigerator. Allow to sit at room temperature until ready to cook, at least 2-3 hours.
- Preheat oven. When ready, place a rack in the center of an oven, then preheat to 475F.
- Cook the rib roast. Transfer the seasoned rib roast to a large deep skillet or a roasting pan (the roasting rack is not necessary), bone-side down. Place in the preheated oven and cook for 20 minutes at 475F.
- Lower the temperature of the oven. After 20 minutes, reduce the oven temperature to 325F, but do NOT open the oven door! You'll release too much heat and alter the cook time of the roast.
- Continue cooking until desired temperature is reached. Cook the rib roast until the internal temperature is 115F. This will ensure it is cooked to medium-rare (125F), as the roast will continue to rise in temperature after it is removed from the oven. We recommend beginning to check for doneness after 1 hour of cooking at 325F. Use a meat thermometer, it's the only way to guarantee the roast is cooked properly. The general rule of thumb is: 15 minutes cook time per pound.
- Rest before carving. Do not skip this step! Once fully cooked, remove the standing rib roast from the oven and transfer to a large carving board. Cover loosely with aluminum foil, then set a timer for 30 minutes.
- Optional: Make the red wine au jus. About 10 minutes before carving, place the pan or roasting dish over medium-high heat. Bring the drippings to a boil, then add 1 cup red wine, whisking while you pour it in. Scrape up any browned bits off the bottom of the pan, then continue to cook at a boil until the sauce reduces by about ⅓. Turn off the heat, then add 3 Tbsp butter, cut into slabs. Whisk until fully incorporated into the sauce. Set aside.
- Slice, then serve! After 30 minutes of resting, set the roast on its side, then use a sharp knife to slice the bones away from the rest of the meat. There's lots of good meat on there, so don't discard, but it's easier to slice the beef without the ribs. Next, turn the roast right side up and use a sharp knife to cut into ¾" thick slices. Serve immediately with au jus spooned on top and a pinch of flaky sea salt.
- The prime rib can be seasoned and left uncovered in a fridge up to 3 days in advance.
- How much prime rib per person? General guideline is 1 lb/person, keeping in mind that this is for a bone-in prime rib roast, and that you’ll lose a lot of that weight to the bones, once removed. It’s actually closer to ½-¾ lb meat/person in the end.
- Don’t want to use red wine? Substitute with equal parts beef broth.
- Recommended side dishes: Garlic Mashed Potatoes, Shredded Brussel Sprouts Salad, Blistered Haricots Verts, or Roasted Root Vegetables.
- Boneless rib roast: A boneless rib roast will take about 13-14 minutes per lb instead of 15. If you prefer the ease of not having bone-in, simply ask the butcher to cut off the bones, then reattach them by securing to the roast with a string.
- Leftovers: Store leftovers in an airtight container in a fridge for 3-5 days. Reheat in a microwave until warm throughout, being careful not to overcook from medium-rare.
- Freeze: Leftover slices of prime rib can be frozen for up to 3 months. Thaw completely before reheating.